Now Is The Time To Go Mo, But Don’t Forget To CRO


If you’re reading this, you realise the importance of mobile sites. Each and every one of you will have bought something on the move, enquired about a service when waiting for the train and Google’d a takeaway number on your way home, then clicked to call via your mobile. Mobile is engrained in our everyday lives. Why then are there so many poor mobile sites out there, or worse still, many websites that have no mobile site at all? Why are many businesses still not taking mobile seriously?

As my colleague, and Analytics junky, Mr. Ross Scrivener, wrote a few months back, mobile traffic is continuing to grow, and it IS a big deal. And this coming from a very resourceful man who once blew up the power supply to his MacBook when using it to warm his feet in bed one cold winter’s night (well, that’s what he claims anyhow), so take note!

I’m going to share with you some CRO principles that should be seriously considered when designing / redesigning / redeveloping mobile sites. Of course, the best results will come from those that are carefully considered, thanks to extensive CRO analysis, that then inform A/B and MVT’s.

A Gentle Nudge Can Work Wonders

My friends at Ogilvy Change spend their lives rightly telling us that ‘sometimes it’s the small things that make big differences’. Sometimes it really is required to state the bleeding obvious, especially when your audience are busy, impatient people needing to make quick decisions on the move. In fact, research states that 90% of our decision making is conducted somewhat unconsciously and automatically on a daily basis.*

Users will often need telling what to do or how a process operates. For example, The Huffington Post mobile site uses concise instructions excellently when integrating video content into their articles. To avoid users perceiving that the video marks the end of the article, which to some users will have been subconsciously learned behaviour, Huff Post clearly state that the “Story continues after the video”:

You ain’t nothin’ but a hound dog

We all understand the importance of digital advertising, but refrain from overdoing it, especially on mobile where screen real estate is at a premium. Why annoy users - and potential consumers - when you’ve worked so hard to get them to the site? Like the overly-attentive-bordering-on-annoying shop assistant that has just been told by the potential customer that they are ‘just browsing’, don’t hound them out the door. This ad found on the Guardian mobile site was bearable at first sight, until they served it twice to me in one section of the page. No. Just no!

Don’t Follow The Herd, The Herd Are Failing

It’s human nature to imitate which goes some way to explaining why it’s so fashionable to have a carousel on your homepage despite research showing that they don’t actually increase conversion rates - and in fact, waste a crucial space on-page that could be put to far better use. It also explains why many websites’ buttons revert to the default setting of ‘submit’ or other words that you just wouldn’t use in everyday life.

Twitter - whose web forms are excellent, by the way, but that’s a discussion for another day - use excellent calls to action on their Advertising mobile site. Urgency is the key here: the CTA of ‘Let’s Go’, expressing the notion of ‘doing’ and ‘doing now’ is far more effective than ‘More Info’ - another lazy default.



*Ogilvy Change, Influences and Irrationalities of the Human Mind. 2013.


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